This isn’t the post I was going to write today, but a thought-provoking interaction online has me starting with that title. It’s a title that would be objectionable to the person to whose comment I’m responding–but I should back up and share the scenario first.
A friendly fellow blogger re-blogged yesterday’s post about building a blogging community. (Normally I would share a link, but given the nature of the following reflections, I don’t want to cause embarrassment for anyone. The re-blogging friend unfairly got caught in the middle here…)
One of her readers then wrote this comment as a response to the post (names redacted, bolding my own):
XXX], well your a year older and wiser as they say, thanks for the tips but I don’t appreciate some of the langue used in this woman’s post but then she is not a Christian and they do at times express themselves coarsely my family are the same I tolerate it but I don’t like it or agree with it and they know and have toned down at least when I’m with them.
Take Care – Christian Love from both of us – [
I confess that my initial response to this was about two-parts-laughter to one-part-hot-ears. I went straightaway to re-read my own post, looking for the objectionable language. I DO use coarse language, but in this particular post I even substituted “baloney” for its coarser variation, saying I’d save my swear words for when I needed them…
I conclude that the offending phrase was the link to an earlier post titled “Confessions of a Statistics Slut.” Oh, and I also used the word “profligacy”–so perhaps the mention of profligate behavior (in this case, my tendency to check my blog statistics) might be objectionable as well. Did I miss anything?
I have a problem here. I tend to get really judgmental about people who get judgmental. I’m goaded by the assumption (“she’s not a Christian”)–and even more so by the contemptuous dissociation from “them.”
As it happens, I am Christian–an aspiring follower of Yeshua’s teachings (though not necessarily the teachings of all the churches which also bear that label). As it happens, in fact, I’m an ordained minister. But if I were inclined to apologize for my use of the word “slut,” my apology wouldn’t be to those of you who were subjected to the term, but to those of my acquaintance who have been subjected to the profession–for my casual and light-hearted use of the word.
That’s right–I know (and love) some prostitutes. And some drug dealers, some gang members, even some hit men. Most are no longer engaging in those former professions, some are working to get out of them, a few have gone back… And I’m blessed with opportunities to minister. Not TO them, but AMONG them–because I’m one of “them” too. With a less colorful past than some, but I’m an alcoholic/addict, I’ve seen the inside of a jail cell (though these days the clergy collar gets me back out again), and oh yes–I express myself coarsely at times. Did I mention that I know (and love) some human beings?
I can think of someone else who advocated ministry among sinners. Ironically enough, its HIS name which this person uses to label herself as superior to those of us who are… coarser.
In some respects, this is an interesting extension of yesterday’s topic. In the blogging community, not everybody likes what other people write–or even likes the other people themselves. She thinks I’m naughty; I think she’s a prat. She objects to the coarseness of my language; I object to the grammar of hers. (Now I’M being the prat!)
But unlike some other arenas of life, we each have the opportunity NOT to read one another’s blogs. I will probably avail myself of that opportunity–and no doubt she intends to spare herself any additional exposure to my objectionable self. Problem solved! This is the point where my Sponsor reminds me not to “let someone else rent space in my head.”